Reflecting on the progress of the TS1 Project
29 Jan 2020



Another milestone has been reached for the ISIS TS1 Project with the arrival of the new modular Reflector assembly. This half a ton block of beryllium arrived on 04 December.


​A lot of effort went into the delivering and packaging of the critical materials. To ensure safe delivery, the reflectors came in four custom-made reinforced boxes (see pictures below).


Little gadgets sensitive to impact called Shockwatches were put into the boxes. These Shockwatches turn red when they are subject to a force that exceeds a certain threshold. Thankfully, none of the Shockwatches changed colour.

ISIS Target Station 1 (TS1) has run for over 35 years without significant maintenance or development work to its internals. The TS1 project; a sustainability project, seeks to enhance key elements of the target station, with the installation taking place during a long shutdown starting in the January of 2021.

Dan Coates, a senior designer from the ISIS Design Division, is the work package manager for the delivery of the reflector assembly and leads the team who are designing and building this vital part of the new Target, Reflector and Moderator (TRaM) assembly. After the installation of the new TRaM, it will be easier to remotely handle the moderator, reduce the time required for regular maintenance tasks and remote handling risks.

Neutron reflectors are used to reflect neutrons from the beam in order to increase the number of neutrons being directed into the moderators. The current reflector is constructed from stainless steel boxes filled with beryllium rods and cooled with heavy water. The design of the new reflector is similar to that used in Target Station 2: a modular solid beryllium block design to make for easier moderator changes and future development. Replacing the moderators, which used to take about a week, will now take less than a weekend to complete.

Neutron reflectors

​The reflector consists of 13 solid beryllium blocks, as shown in the picture, enabling future upgrades without the expense and waste of replacing the entire reflector. The beryllium was supplied by Materion USA (based in Ohio, USA).

The modular construction for the new design also includes an improved thermal design. Eleven new cooling pads are fitted to each block to maintain the core temperature at 100°C. Dan and his team found that friction stir welded aluminium cooling pads produced the best results for increased flow, and free from distortion for enhanced surface contact.

Dan and his team commissioned the beryllium block to be manufactured by Leading Mechanical Solutions, based near Santander, Spain. The blocks were nickel plated by Elhco Electroless Hard Coat. Nickel plating prevents the beryllium from forming oxidising and forming contaminants.

The arrival of the reflector is a big step for the team as Dan says that he is “very relieved that it arrived all in one piece.” Furthermore, “the next step is on our shoulders to deliver the finished assembly” says Dan.

Contact: de Laune, Rosie (STFC,RAL,ISIS)